I've not yet BEAN to Japan but it is my number one food fantasy trip! I love love love red bean desserts so this recipe is an ode to how this important ingredient wears so many cute disguises. I've attempted to learn some Japanese over the years and I get friends to send me snack packets for extra inspiration! Super kawaii foods with faces from Japanese pop culture and food packaging have been a big design influence on me so I tried to work that into this recipe as well. And finally, the little star shapes are a hard candy called konpeitō which I put in there for my lively anko to snack on. Sorry for any mistakes in my Japanese labels! The only thing trickier than learning a new alphabet is trying to do cute hand-lettering in a new alphabet!